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First Aid & Emergencies

Concussion Treatment

Call 911 if the person:

  • Is vomiting repeatedly
  • Has unequal pupils
  • Is confused or agitated
  • Has weakness on one side of the body
  • Passes out or is unconscious 
  • Is very drowsy or unable to wake up
  • Has neck pain after a fall
  • Has slurred speech
  • Has a seizure
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  • Is vomiting repeatedly
  • Has unequal pupils
  • Is confused or agitated
  • Has weakness on one side of the body
  • Passes out or is unconscious 
  • Is very drowsy or unable to wake up
  • Has neck pain after a fall
  • Has slurred speech
  • Has a seizure

1. Prevent Swelling and Further Injury

  • Have the person stop activity and rest.
  • Apply ice wrapped in a washcloth.

2. Treat Symptoms

  • For pain, take over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol). Aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) may make bruising worse.

3. Monitor Symptoms

  • If possible, stay with the person for 24 hours.

 

4. When to Call a Doctor

Anyone with a suspected concussion should be seen by a doctor. Once discharged, seek immediate medical care again if any of these symptoms develop:

  • A headache that seems to be getting worse
  • Continued vomiting
  • Increased drowsiness or dizziness
  • Increased confusion

Young children may not have the same symptoms as adults. Seek immediate medical help if your child will not nurse or eat after a head injury or if you cannot get them to stop crying. 

5. Follow-Up

  • Symptoms will likely improve in 7 to 10 days. Call your doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on September 30, 2013

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